Olympics Announcer: Simone Biles’ Adoptive Parents are "NOT her Parents"

Time to set the record straight

Olympics Announcer: Simone Biles’ Adoptive Parents are "NOT her Parents"

Olympics Announcer: Simone Biles’ Adoptive Parents are "NOT her Parents"

NBC commentator Al Trautwig was forced to do some fast back-pedalling after posting this tweet about Olympic gymnast Simone Biles:


Even though Trautwig quickly deleted the highly insensitive and inaccurate comment, the internet never forgets. Screenshots were taken.

And many - including Biles' own coach - rushed to her defence. Adoptive parents are still parents. 

Making such distinctions is hurtful and insulting for parents and adoptees alike.

In this particular case, the 19 year-old athlete and her sister were both adopted by their maternal grandfather, Ron Biles, and his wife, Nellie, because the girls' biological mother was an addict. 

Biles admitted as much in an earlier interview with USA Today.

“When I was younger, I was adopted by my grandparents, which are now my parents,” she said. “I call them Mom and Dad. Everything’s just been so normal.” 

How is her lineage or her personal story relevant to her career, anyway? It's not. 

Frankly the fact that she's adopted is no one's bloody business - much less fodder for a sportscaster covering the Olympics. 

In fact, it's pretty gauche to delve into details about an athlete's private life beyond saying something like, "Well, look at her proud supporters." 

To his and NBC's credit, Trautwig apologized:

“I regret that I wasn’t more clear in my wording on the air. I compounded the error on Twitter, which I quickly corrected. To set the record straight, Ron and Nellie are Simone’s parents.”

Image Source: CBC Sports/Youtube 

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Courtney Stodden Shaves Head Following Miscarriage

Is this what grief looks like? 

Courtney Stodden Shaves Head Following Miscarriage

There is much hullabaloo about reality star Courtney Stodden, who shaved her head as a "symbolic gesture" to mark a recent miscarriage |

There is much hullabaloo about reality star Courtney Stodden, who shaved her head as a "symbolic gesture" to mark a recent miscarriage.

"I’ll never get over this … losing you," she wrote. "I hope you know how much I miss you growing inside of my tummy. I hope that you know I wanted to give you life… a beautiful life - and desired so much to watch you grow into an incredible human being.”

The 21 year-old posted a teary video on Instagram, announcing her decision to "step into this new chapter into my life fresh and new."

Interestingly, shearing hair is traditionally a gesture of grief, so what Stodden did was far from shocking. It actually makes sense on many levels.

What shocked some people was her reaction shortly thereafter, when she posted a pouty selfie in which she's stripped down to a skimpy, leopard-print bikini nursing a glass of bubbles.

For many, the posturing came across as "too Kardashian" to elicit much sympathy. 

Is this what grief looks like? Well, yes and no. The short answer: grief looks like whatever the hell you want it to look like.

To be clear, Stodden is not my cup of tea - I had never even heard of her until this morning! - yet I can see past the leopard print to the pain in her eyes.

She just lost a baby. She's broken. 

Maybe her way of coping is not your way of coping. It's definitely not mine. But it's her way. Who are we to say it's disingenuous or wrong? 

Maybe posing and trying to look beautiful for the camera makes her feel better or at least more like "herself."

If that's the case, more power to her. I hope she and her husband find their own way to heal and move forward. Yes, even if that way involves Instagram and leopard print.

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Is Your Child Kindergarten-Ready? Ad Places High Expectations

Identify 30+ Letters...!

Is Your Child Kindergarten-Ready? Ad Places High Expectations

Is Your Child Kindergarten-Ready? Ad Places High Expectations |

It used to be that kindergarten was all about story time and making mud pies. Nowadays - if this Tennessee nursery is anything to go by - the expectations come thick and fast.

The nursery teacher posted a long list of prerequisite skills little tots are expected to have by the time they enter kindergarten - including "holding a pencil the correct way" and being able to identify "30+ letters."

No wonder parents are stressed. (Notwithstanding the fact that many of us only learned 26 letters... I kid, of course - it's assumed the 30+ refers to both upper- and lowercase letters.)

Still, the fact that "kindergarten-ready" is even a thing points to a wider societal problem. Small wonder this list prompted at least one person to comment: "I feel sorry for the kids nowadays."

That's a pretty intense barrage of expectation for a five year-old.

When I was that age, my skill set didn't extend far beyond the following:

  • Hold onto the rope so you don't get lost at the mall
  • Recognize your name on a cubby
  • Try not to pee your pants... and speaking of pee, why does that boy have something different down there?
  • Sand doesn't taste half as good as it looks

A solid science experiment in my day consisted of breaking a worm in two to see what would happen...

Letters and numbers. Pah! They just didn't figure, and I turned out alright - more or less. OK, so that last point is debatable. Nevermind...

Most learning that happens in kindergarten tends to be incidental, and there's plenty of time. Besides, kindergarten is where the teacher is paid to TEACH kids these things.

As some expert-type people have already pointed out, the biggest, most valuable kind of intelligence needed in kindergarten is rooted in the social and emotional, e.g. listening, playing nice, sharing, turn taking, etc.  

Parents, time to burn the flash cards, get down on the rug, and play.

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